By Tom Skilling
Snowfall’s been quite relentless here. Flurries (or more) have fluttered to earth 8 of the past 9 days. And, with just under 10” on the books to date, the 2013-14 season has been accumulating snow at nearly twice the normal pace and ranks 33rd snowiest of the past 128 years. That places it among the top quarter of all Chicago snow seasons since records began here in 1884-85.
Second fast-moving wave is to produce light snow Tuesday morning; it’s the 16th day with snow this season
Snow’s to fall Tuesday for a 16th day this season. The snow is to be light overall. But, it’s ill-timed, coinciding with at least a portion of the morning commute period.
Though it’s not likely to total much more than 0.5 to 1”, that’s more than enough to generate slick spots on less traveled or un-treated road surfaces. Caution is advised.
The mildest temps in 12 days are ahead Wednesday; some rain due Thursday afternoon into Friday morning
Temperatures are to move higher in coming days, with daytime highs predicted to break above freezing—even if only modestly on some days—Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
There’s been only one day with a temperature even briefly above freezing in the past 12. An eight day string of above freezing readings came to an end after a November 28 through December 5th run.
Arctic air plunging into northern Rockies and Plains sets stage for Chicago weekend temp pull-back and potential Saturday night/Sunday snow-maker; storm potential being monitored
Warming comes to an abrupt end in the northern Rockies and Plains beyond mid-week. That’s when northerly winds will howl and temperatures are to dive into sub-zero territory with wind chills under 20-below by late Thursday.
The southward plunge of cold air lays the atmospheric groundwork for a potentially stormy weekend.
Low pressure, expected to come together over the southern Plains then loop northward into the Midwest, could generate significant snowfall Saturday night into Sunday according to forecasts off several key weather prediction models.
Most aggressive in its medium-range forecast of accumulating late-weekend snow was the Monday morning run of the European Center’s model. That snow of some substance might lie ahead over the coming weekend was a theme picked up on by Monday evening’s National Weather Service “GFS” (Global Forecast System) model run. Confidence in these forecasts grow when more than one model is involved.
The potential for storm development is still days away and forecasts at that distance in time are subject to change as newer data becomes available. We’ll keep you posted.